John Lobb represents British style at its finest. For over 150 years, the company has crafted shoes and boots of the highest quality, including artisanal bespoke shoes that are manufactured with a 190 step process.
In addition to the bespoke service, the company offers an extensive archive of made-to-order models and luxurious ready-to-wear shoes in stores worldwide.
After making boots for miners during the gold rush in Australia, John Lobb returned to London and set up his first shop in 1866. Lobb earned name for himself as the premier shoemaker of the day, offering a bespoke service to the aristocracy, politicians and business elite. He received royal warrants for his craftsmanship from both the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.
In 1902, Lobb’s son, William, opened the first store in Paris, which quickly attracted international clients. During this post-war era, the company launched classic Lobb models like the William monk shoe and the Lopez loafer.
The John Lobb company was acquired by Hermès in 1976. Because the shoes were previously only available to bespoke clients, the Hermès Group saw an opportunity to expand into ready-to-wear shoes. The first ready-to-wear collection debuted in 1982, and the new line became a core of the John Lobb brand.
But some elements of the brand remain unchanged. The London bespoke workshop is still a separate family-owned shop that produces exquisitely designed, custom shoes. And the focus of the bespoke service is the relationship built between the client and the John Lobb artisan.
When clients attends their first bespoke appointment, the Master Last Maker takes detailed measurements of their foot. From these measurements, a model of the foot is sculpted from hornbeam wood. This model is used to make the last, and then the leather upper of the client’s bespoke shoes will be formed to the last. A trial shoe is then produced, and measurements are taken again. Once the shape is perfected, the final bespoke shoe is produced and presented to the client.
Today, John Lobb is a global brand with a retail presence in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Such is the company’s commitment to luxury that in select hotels throughout the world, John Lobb certified shoe care experts are available to maintain the shoes of their globe-trotting customers.